Anne Arundel County Council Votes Against $1 Stormwater fee

A November 19 Capital-Gazette article  reports that the Anne Arundel County Council has voted 4-3 against a proposal that would have lowered the County’s stormwater utility fee to $1 a year for residents.  As previously reported by Conduit Street, the State recently sent letters to several counties that adopted low fees, were considering adopting low fees, or set up alternative funding methods to pay for their stormwater retrofit costs.  The letters noted that a county adopting a low or de minimis fee could be subject to daily fines if it cannot then meet its  stormwater retrofit requirements through other fiscal means.  From the article:

Department of Public Works Director Christopher Phipps told the council that eliminating the funding without first determining an alternative source of money would hinder ongoing projects and postpone others.

“This has been a backlog of projects and project load that needs immediate attention,” Phipps said. “However, you want to decide where the funding is coming from … that’s fine, we just need direction.”

The article also notes that the only testimony on the bill came from Delegate Steve Schuh, who questioned whether the County had considered better alternatives to its existing fee.